Supervised resistance exercise for women with ovarian cancer who have completed first-line treatment: a pragmatic study

Christelle Schofield, Robert U. Newton, Dennis R. Taaffe, Daniel A. Galvão, Paul A. Cohen, Tarek M. Meniawy, Carolyn J. Peddle-McIntyre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives In ovarian cancer (OC), suboptimal muscle morphology (i.e., low muscle mass and density) is associated with poor clinical outcomes, yet little is known about the effect of interventions aimed at improving these measures. We investigated the effect of resistance exercise after first-line treatment on muscle mass and density, muscle strength and physical function, health-related quality of life (QoL), and pelvic-floor function in advanced-stage OC survivors.

Methods Fifteen OC survivors participated in supervised resistance exercise twice weekly for 12 weeks (in-clinic or by telehealth). Assessments included muscle mass and density (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, peripheral quantitative computed tomography), muscle strength (1-repetition maximum [1RM] chest press, 5RM leg press, handgrip strength), physical function (400-m walk, timed up-and-go [TUG]), QoL (QLQ-C30 questionnaire), and self-reported pelvic floor function (Australian Pelvic Floor Questionnaire).

Results The median age was 64 (range 33–72) years, 10 women underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy and five underwent adjuvant chemotherapy. All participants completed the intervention (median attendance = 92%; range 79–100%). Postintervention improvements were observed for whole-body lean mass (1.0 ± 1.4 kg, p = 0.015), appendicular lean mass (0.6 ±0.9 kg, p = 0.013), muscle density (p = 0.011), upper and lower body strength (p ≤ 0.001), 400-m walk (p = 0.001), TUG (p= 0.005), and social and cognitive QoL domains (p = 0.002 and 0.007), with no change to pelvic floor symptoms (p > 0.05).

Conclusion In this study, supervised resistance exercise effectively improved muscle mass and density, muscle strength, and physical functioning without deleterious effects on the pelvic floor. Considering the prognostic value of these outcomes, larger studies are needed to confirm the benefits of resistance exercise in OC supportive care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number304
Pages (from-to)304
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2023


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